“Tell Us How You Really Feel”: Scarlet Blade text review
Ever since my April Fool’s video I’ve been getting a lot of requests, be in here, on Twitter, or wherever to actually do a full episode FRSRS on this game… and… well. Yeah. While I’m perfectly capable of doing just that, as it fits all the criteria is hell of a lot more of an MMO than a lot of the fare I review on this show, the reason I don’t is simply because… You know exactly what this game is like. You watched the video? You saw an ad or a trailer somewhere? Yes. It’s exactly what you think it is.
Still it seems that’s not entirely good enough, so in its stead, I’ll go into a bit more depth about the game and how I feel about, this time without the backhanded compliments and snarky subtext.
Scarlet Blade is… a thing. Trust me… ask ANY MMO player who plays that game, old enough to know how sex and sexuality works and this is the answer you’re going to get. Why? Because despite all the obvious overtly shameless sexual content the game is… competent. It’s not terrible, gameplay mechanics-wise. It’s a pretty standard game that would probably hold up well enough without its obvious hook. It’s… a thing. But we’ll break it down Grinder Style:
Yep. The hook. The shiny Plasticine women. The giant jiggling breasts. The sexual innuendo and not so innuendo THAT. ARE. LITERALLY. EVERY. FUCKING. WHERE. And yet, ignoring the “sexy dance” your Arkana does to mount their oddly phallic motor-unicycle, this game is actually quite pretty. There’s a lot of interesting detail going on in the environment, and taking a look at the surroundings, not just your character’s “assets” showcases some pretty cool looking designs. Of course, like TERA a lot of them look like “cool for the sake of cool” as despite how awesome the weird flying jellyfish in the sky look, there doesn’t seem to be any explained reason why they are there. The “Elk” you fight sure don’t look like elk, but they have a really interesting design that seems rife with imagination. The observation I made about the animations wasn’t entirely a joke and the animation in combat actually looks pretty smooth. In a sea getting ever more stacked with “realistic” brown and grey worlds, Scarlet Blade is at least looking vibrant, creative and colorful… as long as you can move your character’s breasts out of the way to see them properly.
MUSIC AND SOUND
The soundtrack is pretty generic fantasy/sci-fi MMO fare, and there’s not much to focus on beyond the sound. It’s not bad music, but it’s very unremarkable. I am glad that we are at least thankfully spared from all the attacks sounding like sexual grunts, and at least sound like attack yells… despite them getting extremely repetitive. Then of course there’s that hilariously spotty voice acting. The characters sound ok, but some NPCs are so robotic in their voice… and I’m not just talking about the first voiced NPC you hear that’s literally robotic.
Starting out, you’re asked to choose between two factions, the Royal Guards, and the Free Knights. Royal Guards serve “Mother”, the being that created the Arkana, without question, feeling they serve only as weapons and must remain controlled. Free Knights believe that Arkana should be allowed to live free of “Mother”, and should not live their lives in servitude. It’s an interesting dynamic that is unfortunately completely POINTLESS. The game remains exactly the same no matter which one you choose. No, scratch that… The major difference is that anytime you would see “Free Knights” in the text with will be replaced with “Royal Guards” and vice versa when you play on the opposite faction. Best example? When you play the first few quests, a spy named “Cherry” shows up and attempts to sabotage communications. If you’re an RG, she’s an FK. If you’re an FK, she’s an RG. Same dialogue, same quests. Same steps same fucking COSTUME, it’s NO different. I’m sure it’s for some PvP system that I’m not entirely certain even exists right now, but the opportunity for an actual story dynamic is completely squandered.
Classes are pretty simple to grasp, with the “unique ones” pretty much being alternate versions of classes you’ve already seen. Whippers are basic AoE damage dealers. Punishers are heavy burst damage. The loli class, Sentinel is unfortunately for the nature of the game, one of the more fun classes to play, but combat among all classes boils down to “click enemy”, press skills, win. This doesn’t change later on. If the skill is available, use it. Ta-freaking-da.
Here’s where the game’s mediocrity really shines. This is pretty much every Korean Grinder you’ve ever played. You jump from quest to quest, killing enemies of various variety, and while the starting areas are pretty plentiful in content, from what I have been told, the game becomes a literally grinder later on while you wait for more quests to show up.
I say, “show up” because the game doesn’t do quests in the traditional sense of “find NPC with icon over their head”, instead, just dumping the quest right onto your interface. You press a button to accept it. You press a button to complete it.
You have a limited level of customization in the form of the skill tree you’ve seen in every MMO since WoW. It’s where you’ll unlock new skills, or tweak and buff existing ones. Nothing really out of the norm there. The only other unique feature to the game comes in the form of summoned mechs you can use in combat, but this is nothing more than a usable “rage mode” you might have seen in other games. You have a cooldown timer, and the Mech is basically summoned with an “Oh shit” button, letting you wreck enemies for a very short period of time before having to wait a long time to use it again. Pretty anti-climactic.
There are only two types of people who play this game. Those who are obsessed with the breasts and ass aspect of the game, constantly asking people for sexy items and making lewd comments in chat, and those who play the game ironically, wondering just how bad the innuendo and forced sexual content is going to get. Guess who’ll you’ll be seeing the most of. Chat is unquestionably a cesspool, with horrible comments and arguments abound, but a lot more often, it’ll quite down, leaving only your typical “trading ___ for ___” messages you see in every MMO. Alternatively, there’s always the gold spammers. ALWAYS the gold spammers. Still the audience is obvious. Dont’ believe me? Here’s a few search terms that have led to my site since posting the fake review. Many MORE than once:
- can u have sex in scarlet blade
- pics of 12 year old scarlet blade character
- scarlet blade lingerie unsealer
- scarlet blade selling sex
- scarlet blade first quest boobs out
- scarlet blade “tits”
- how to make boobs seeable in scarlet blades
- scarlet blade underwear
That’s a small taste of over 50 sexually related Scarlet Blade searches. So yeah, thanks for that…
There’s an item that lets you make your character naked. I don’t need to say anything more. You can imagine this is the most sought after item, and community chats are crawling with people wanting to buy the “Lingerie Unsealer” but being completely unwilling to pay for it. Otherwise if the in-game outfits aren’t shameless enough for you, there’s plenty more in the cash shop as well. A recent addition is literally a haphazard wrapping of pink belts covering up only the sensitive parts.
PLAY: If you have no shame, are a 12-year-old child just finding out about “the boobies”, are interested in seeing just how horrible this whole charade can get, or want a fairly slick-looking sci-fi based grinder, and are willing to ignore the more obvious draw to this game.
PAY: Must. Make. Character. Naked.
PASS: You have any sense of dignity.
That’s really the gist of the game. It’s anti-climactic. If the “Sexy women” weren’t a focus, there’d be nothing to remark… yet it’s competent enough to play. I personally find it’s shamelessness hilarious as I do painful, making me yell out in exasperation, “This… FUCKING GAME!” every time I read some painfully obvious innuendo in an NPC conversation.
However, the shameless is enough to set a LOT of people off (Jacqueline (who helped me write a lot of the April Fool’s episode) spent most of time raging at everything about the game while I played it for footage.) This fact is most evident in many articles about the game, like this one I found in a recent google search here: Crossing the Design Line: An Indignant Review of Scarlet Blade. It’s a pretty accurate experience of how you’ll feel when you first foray into this… thing.